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Quitter Meaning & Translation – To Leave in French

Quitter Meaning & Translation – To Leave in French

Today’s lesson will be all about the French verb quitter. This verb often causes confusion among students as its main meaning is “to leave”, rather than “to quit”. For example, the meaning of the famous French song Ne me quitte pas is “don’t leave me”. Keep reading as we have lots of great example sentences.


to leave

Quitter - to leave, to part ways

Quitter Meaning & Translation

Quitter origin and conjugation

According to, quitter comes from the Latin word quitus, which means rested, calm and in peace.

Quitter is regular ER verb. This means that its endings are the same as other regular ER verbs when conjugated in the present tense.

Je quitte I leave
Tu quittes You leave (singular, informal)
Il, elle, on quitte He, she, one leaves
Nous quittons We leave
Vous quittez You leave (plural, formal)
Ils, elles quittent They leave

Example sentences with quitter

Leaving a person

As mentioned, the most common usage of quitter is to leave, as in leaving a person. Belgian singer Jacques Brel made the line Ne me quitte pas (Don’t leave me) famous in his 1959 song with that title.

Ne me quitte pas ! J’ai besoin de toi !

Don’t leave me! I need you!

Après trois ans ensemble, Martin quitte sa petite copine.

After three years together, Martin is leaving his girlfriend.

Leaving a place

The verb quitter can also be used in the context of leaving a place. Here’s an example.

Je vais quitter Paris le 17 mars.

I’m going to leave Paris on March 17.

Example of how to use quitter (to leave) in French

Conversation usage

You could also use quitter in a telephone conversation to say something to the effect of “I have to go (or hand up) now.”

Pardon, je dois te quitter, mon ami m’attend.

Sorry, I have to leave you. My friend is waiting for me.

To part ways

In the form of reciprocal reflexive verb, se quitter means “to leave each other” or “to part ways”.

Ils se quittent sur le quai de la gare.

They are parting ways on the train station platform.


Et voilà ! You now have a very strong grasp of how to use the verb quitter (to leave) in French! Now check out our lesson covering the verb bosser. Rather than meaning “to boss around”, this commonly used informal verb means “to work” or “to work hard”.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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